Escape performance after inescapable shock in selectively bred lines of mice: Reponse maintenance and catecholamine activity

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Examined the effects of inescapable shock on subsequent escape performance and shock-elicited activity in 6 lines of mice (a total of 528 Ss in 6 experiments) selectively bred for differences in general locomotor activity. The line differences in locomotor activity were found to be unrelated to the differences observed on shock-elicited activity. However, escape performance following exposure to inescapable shock was predictable from the levels of shock-elicited activity. Those lines that displayed the greatest decline in motor activity during shock likewise displayed the most pronounced escape deficits. The line differences in escape performance induced by inescapable shock could be mimicked by treatment with a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor, alpha-methylparatyrosine. As predicted, the lines that displayed the least interference after tyrosine hydroxylase inhibition exhibited the smallest reduction in levels of catecholamines. The effects on escape performance following inescapable shock are interpreted in terms of the role of response maintenance deficits produced by catecholamine depletion. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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